When your baby has hip dysplasia
Most people know a baby with hip dysplasia or have at least heard of the condition. It’s relatively common in Australia, with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH is the doctors’ shorthand for it) occurring in about one in every 1000 babies.
Interestingly, it’s more than four times more common in girls than boys. And, given our early birds may have underdeveloped joints, they can more easily become dislocated.
But what is it? DDH occurs when the hip joint of a newborn baby is dislocated or prone to dislocation. The good news is that is that around 95 per cent of babies born with DDH can be successfully treated with a harness or operations and splints.
Babies are checked at birth to see if they have DDH and are monitored during maternal health nurse appointments in the coming months to ensure it hasn’t been missed. In most cases DDH is picked up early, but some children are only diagnosed when they’re two or three years old.
Young babies who are found to have it may be required to wear a harness for six to 12 weeks to keep their legs in a frog position to treat the condition. Older children may require surgery and a plaster cast.
Parents with children with DDH should seek support, since it can be difficult seeing your precious baby uncomfortable. Apart from those emotions there are practical concerns, too. What clothing will fit around the brace? What position is best to use while breastfeeding? How do you bathe your child?
Sadly, stories of staring, comments and insensitive questions asked by people on the street aren’t uncommon. In most cases, the brace is a short-term challenge with a very long-term gain, and hopefully those inquisitive stares can be ignored while parents are doing the very best thing for their child.
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Made with no nasties these nappies are dermatologically tested and biodegradable, so you can relax knowing you are protecting your early birds' skin and the environment.
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